Heineken South Africa is reportedly planning to retrench 70 people.

The company intends to stop new investments due to trade restrictions created by the pandemic and alcohol sales ban in the country.

Reuters reported that nearly 30% of local breweries had to permanently close their doors, abandoning planned investments.

Recently, South Africa banned alcohol sales to free up space for Covid-19 patients in hospitals burdened with alcohol-related injuries.

Reuters quoted Heineken South Africa human resources director Yvonne Mosadi as saying: “Prior to considering this action, the company implemented various cost mitigation measures throughout 2020.

“Unfortunately, given the ongoing challenging situation the company finds itself in, these measures are no longer adequate to manage and sustain the operating costs of the business.

“The maker of Windhoek and Amstel beer said it will continue to review its cost and organisational structure to ensure “it is fit for the future needs of the business particularly during this tumultuous period.”

Last August, the Dutch brewer reportedly dropped its plans to build a brewery in KwaZulu-Natal after South Africa imposed the second ban on alcohol sales.

Earlier, in April, the Malaysian Government granted approval for Heineken to resume limited operations with minimal workers during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period.

Heineken Malaysia resumed its operations and ensured the continued supply of its products to retail outlets that can operate during the MCO period. The outlets include supermarkets, provision shops and convenience stores, among others.

Last March, the company suspended its operations in line with the MCO imposed by the government to curb the Covid-19 outbreak.